The Eyre Affair

By Jasper Fforde,

Book cover of The Eyre Affair

Book description

Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend

Jasper Fforde's beloved New York Times bestselling novel introduces literary detective Thursday Next and her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England-from the author of The Constant Rabbit

Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love visiting Jasper Fforde's Great…

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Why read it?

8 authors picked The Eyre Affair as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A friend recommended this series to me and, because we both enjoy British literature, I knew I’d give it a go.

What I didn’t expect was to be so utterly charmed, not just by the Britishism, but by the premise: literary detectives must stop her former professor before he can murder Jane Eyre…and have the heroine disappear from literature forever.

The alternative reality is a surreal, quirky 1985 that I reveled in (who wouldn’t want a pet dodo, airships, literary detectors, or a Prose Portal?), but it’s Thursday Next’s insights into her own mistakes, human motivation, and the beauty of…

People are so desperate to buy cheap Byronic verses they’ll risk being duped over missing out. Baconians walk from door to door, pamphlets in hand, inquiring whether you’ve ever wondered who really wrote the “Shakespeare” plays. The vile Acheron Hades uses time travel to ruin the ending of Jane Eyre for everyone and threatens to steal Jane from the book entirely! Can SpecOps’ a-bit-too-infamous detective, Thursday Next, stop this madness? More importantly, has anybody ever seen this “Jasper Fforde” and Sir Terry’s books in a trenchcoat in the same room? I didn’t think so.

There should be more books about…

Thursday Next was one of my first female detectives and she’s hard to top. This is another fantasy, an alternate history this time, with quips about classic literature, action and adventure, and even moments where the book characters go off script themselves! Thursday is the daring and quick-witted sleuth in the middle of it all. She’s a complex character who grows over the series and whom you truly wish well at the end of every chapter. 

The place is definitely not of this universe. Literature—not sports and movies—dominates the culture. Thursday Next is a special agent in the Literary Detection branch. She tracks down forgers and whatnot. More notably, she can enter the worlds of fiction. Literally rub elbows with, say, a living, breathing Madame Bovary. But in this adventure, she has to prevent the snuffing of another protagonist…Jane Eyre. An arch-villain aims to snatch Jane out of her novel and erase her from all literature; then start croaking other famous fictional characters. And only Thursday can stop him.

For my money, Jasper Fforde’s first novel…

From Richard's list on mysteries to tickle your funny bone.

I love our heroine, Thursday Next, with her tragic past, kickass integrity, and pet-cloned dodo named Pickwick. She's fearless, (at least she hides it well), and I admire someone with excellent problem-solving skills, and a desire to do good in the world. I would provide Thursday with moral support when her love life crumbles, and when her mother is trapped inside a Wordsworth poem. Admittedly, I'd be terrified to have an evil genius on the loose, especially one who would kidnap Jane Eyre right out of her book for his own wicked ends. But if anyone can prevent catastrophe, it's…

The Eyre Affair introduces a world subtly more insane than ours. The first time I met it I took in the alternate Britain where the Crimean war is still going on after seventy years, cheese is illegal, and there’s a special police department to tackle fights between opposing Shakespeare and Bacon fans, that was enough absurdity to draw me in. After that it just took me down the helter-skelter and into the “bookworld” of Jane Eyre, where the characters stand ready to perform the moment a reader starts reading. It is Alice in Wonderland with the straightjacket off and not…

Thursday Next is the main character of this fantastically funny series from Jasper Fford. She is a literary detective, charged with keeping fictional characters inside their books. You can imagine the mayhem, the wit, and the puns! If you love literature, then you will thoroughly enjoy this jaunt through Fford’s inspired imagination. 

A zany fiction bending alternate universe with a focus more on classic literature. This book was one of the earliest fiction books that I read taking this approach, pulling out of many of the books that are considered required reading for most English classes and making it a lark, even sparked renewed interest from me in those works. We all dream of being able to enter the books we love and this book plays on those dreams, and a world where that is possible. 

From Kit's list on feeding your inner nerd.

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